Essays in biologyIn honor of Herbert M. Evans written by his Friends. The University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles. XXVII + 687 pp. 1943код для вставкиСкачать
BOOK REVIEW ESSAYS IN EIOLOGY: I N HONOR O F H E R B E R T M. EVANS, written by his Friends. The University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. XXVII 687 pp. 1943. + This volunie is a collection of forty-eight articles presented to Herbert McLean Evans, in honor of his sixtieth birthday, by his colleagues (present or past), pupils, and friends in many places. The book is notable for a long list of distinguished contributors, the remarkable diversity of its contents, and a n unusually handsome format. Not even the dire fact of a n international war has been enough to keep the work within the physical bounds of a n ordinary volume; and its nearly 700 pages constitute a n impressive personal tribute. It is natural that a collection of this sort should exemplify the widest range of individual tastes and interests on the part of the many contributors; and as a matter of fact in modern experimental biology there are few provinces not represented by a t least one article. This astonishing topical variety was probably welcomed if not actually encouraged by the editors, as reflecting the scope of Evans' own work and interest. Certainly there are not many investigators of this generation who have been a n important influence in so many fields. Wit11 even the most liberal restrictions on time and space (charitably overlooking the matter of competency) it is obviously impossible to deal separately with all or any considerable number of individual contributions, however valuable or interesting. Therefore, since a book of this type may not receive a wide distribution to individuals, it may be more useful to indicate as briefly as possible the content of the volume as a whole. The key-word is diversity, both of subject matter and method of treatment. The collection compriws historical sketches, translations frorn classical worlrs, philosophical essays, review articles, clinical reports, and technical contributions : besides a large number of papers which present the results of current research. If those articles primarily of a n historical or philosophical character are hct aside, the remainder fall readiIy within the limits of a single if very broad domain. Rather more than half of the total are concerned with one or more of thcl almost innumerable aspects of hormone physiology; and these proride a sort of fiinctional center, o r macro-nncleus, for the volume. Here we find information (somrtimes new, sometimes redigested) on siich topics as the soiirces and cheniical nature of hormones, methods of assa>-, the part playrd by hormonvs in developmental procwse\ and in adnlt fnnctions, arid the analysis of such activities at the anatomical, histological and cytological levels. The intricacies of entlocrinc. interr(~l~tionships, and the rolc of 1iormonc.s in pathological processes and their value in diagnosis, are also well represented. With such abnndance and variety it js nnfortunate that there mas no attcnipt at a topical arrangement. an adw n t a g e which moidd have been comparatively easy to achieve and a real convpnicnce to the readcr An effort in this direction, at the risk of seeming arbitrary, will favor brevity and greater coherence in what is to follow. Closer rxamination brings to light a number of papers devoted to the more general aspects of endocrine activity - in particular, metabolic effects. This group treats of such snbjects aS endocrines and intestinal absorption, salt and 227 228 BOOK BEVIEW the physiology of the adrenalectomized animal, endocrine factors in carbohydrate metabolism, the kidney and experimental hypertension, etc. Another group is readily assembled which deals with interrelationships, centering mainly around certain pituitary hormones. The following topics are here included : the chemical nature of some of the pituitary gonadotrophins (with special attention to species differences), the source of equine gonadotrophin (the substance is attributed to special “organs” differentiated from the endometrium), a comparative study of the action of various gonadotrophins on the ovary, pituitary cytology as affected by castration or thyroidectomy. The much-investigated subject of sex cliff’rrentiat ion likewise receives attention. The problems and processes dealt with vary greatly and are often of a very special nature. The follon-ing examples are cited: hormones and the expression of genetic pattern in the plumage of birds, sex tliffrrentiatioii i n parabiotic salamanders, the influence of sex hormones on the descent of the testicle, the experimental production of pseudohermaphroditism i n fetal monkeys. Horniones in relation to the reproductive cycle and secondary cyclical phenomena comprise yet another general category. Under thi:, head may be listed: functional correlations of ovum, cycle and menstruation ; hormones in pregnancy and lactation ; the regulation of growth i n the mammary glands ; antler-gonad periodicity in deer ; and t h r hormonal control of sexual behavior. A t this point there remainb a small residue not readily assignable to any of the foregoing groups. Some of these articles are mainly of clinical interest, or are concerned with the role of hormones in pathological processes. Subjects discussed are : the significance of hormone excretion in the clinical study of tumors. the distribiition and behavior of experimentally induced neoplasms, and c1inic;ll methods of estrogen assay. Tn addition, two papers shonld be mentioned which are primarily historical in theme, but will be of particular interest to endocrinologists. One of these is a detailed historical development of present concepts correlating hypophysis and pancreas in hypophysial diabetes ; the other a lively and concise biographical sketch of Brown-Skquard, the almost forgotten pioneer a n d prophet of modern endocrinology. It is regrettable that the great length of this catalogue precliidcs the citation of authors, and it shoiild be understood that many of the topics listed are not actual titles, and are represmtrtl in some casc.; by more than one contribution. And now. having disposed in summary fashion of the nuclear material. a t least a word should be spoken for a rich a r r a y of cytoplasmic inclusions. Reference has been made to a number of papers relating variously to the history and cultural backgrounds of hiology and medicine, and their presence signifies more than mere indulgence of the special interests of individual contributors. I t is perhaps not widely lmown that for many years Evans was a zealous collector of material on the history of science - biology, physiology and anatomy in particular. I n time he assembled a valuable library. Although apparently hc found no time to undertake serious work of his own i n this field, there is little doubt that originally he planned to do so, and his continiied interest i n these things must have inflnenced many of his pupils and friends. I n conclusion, not tlit least important feature of the book is a complete bibliography of Evans as of Anpust, 1942. The length of the list i q amazing. with no less than 369 titles recordtd since 190.1. T t is a great convenience to have thiis provided a single key to so vast a body of worli. Tht bibliography is accompanied by biographical data and a portrait. R. K. BURNS,JR.